I saw a segment about tax deductions for job seekers on today’s CNN “American Morning”. In case you missed it:
This is for anyone unemployed in 2009!
I saw a segment about tax deductions for job seekers on today’s CNN “American Morning”. In case you missed it:
This is for anyone unemployed in 2009!
Yesterday I counted down the first five of 10 movies I think best exemplify the life (for better or worse) of the unemployed. Some of them are inspirational; some are cautionary tales of the highest degree. Here we go with 6-10:
6. American Beauty– Oh, Kevin Spacey and his bitter, sardonic pervy Lester Burnham! As a depressed father living in “perfect” suburbia, Lester is going through a serious mid-life crisis. He is spectacularly fired, then decides to remake his life when he becomes obsessed with his daughter’s nymphet friend played by Mena Suvari. Chaos ensues. For the unemployed, though, all that matters are Lester’s classic responses to his state of loserness: the firing, the drive-thru window debacle (“you are soooo busted”), the confrontation of his wife sleeping with the Real Estate King. But perhaps the best thing for us to recall and repeat to ourselves is what Lester tells tight-ass Carolyn as she’s bitching him out for the 100th time: “I rule!” Yes, Lester, you do rule.
Moral of the story: Well, there shouldn’t really be a moral for this one, but what the hell. Don’t let the “man” push you around!
7. Pretty in Pink – Okay. You’re probably wondering how this made the list. Well, Harry Dean Stanton’s portrayal of Jack Walsh (father of Andie) exemplifies the perpetually out-of-work. There’s really no lesson to be learned here. I just wanted to honor the fact that while the guy couldn’t keep a job to save his soul, he really could pick out a good pink prom dress (which his daughter goes on to make into the most butt-ugly prom dress of all time). I guess everyone’s got talent. No chaos here, unless you count Blane dissing Andie for the prom.
Moral of the story: Be good at something.
8. Fun with Dick and Jane – I have to admit that I’ve never seen this movie, but I know it absolutely represents our current environment. I also know chaos ensues, but I’ll quote from IMDB for a recap: “The day before Globodyne’s stock tanks, a la Enron, and its pension fund evaporates, the corporation’s CEO and CFO set up middle manager Dick Harper to be the public face of the disaster. Jobless, and with no savings, pension, or home equity, Dick and his wife Jane sink slowly into poverty. He looks for work (as do all former Globodyne executives); he even tries day labor with the relatives of their Mexican nanny. A foreclosure notice sends Dick and Jane over the edge into a life of blue-collar crime. Then, as things finally look up, the report of a looming indictment pushes Dick and Jane toward a denouement with the real criminals, the white-collar guys.” (Thanks, J. Hailey via IMDB!)
Moral of the story: No matter what, criminal activity is not the answer.
9. Kramer vs. Kramer – Dustin Hoffman makes the list twice with this tear-jerker about a workaholic ad man who gets laid-off, then goes home to find out his wife’s leaving him…and their young son, Billy. Chaos ensues (including a great scene with French toast), leaving Ted Kramer to embrace his role as a single father and ultimately realize that family is first in his life. He also has a nasty court battle with wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) that will exhaust you.
Moral of the story: Bad events can often make you realize what’s most important in life.
10. Office Space – This is definitely a case of saving the best for last. “Office Space” is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it fully cemented Ron Livingston’s position in my top five guy list. Plus, I believe it’s one of the only great movies Jennifer Aniston has done. Peter Gibbons is the hero of everyone stuck in a shit job. Unlike most of us, he’s desperately trying to get fired and does everything in his power to do so. What happens? He gets promoted! Genius! Chaos ensues and Peter and his friends move on to a life of white-collar crime. I could go on and on and on, but why? We all know the movie by heart anyway.
Moral of the story: Never steal someone’s red Swingline stapler.
One more moral: If you get laid-off, beating the hell out of a fax machine to the tune of “Still” by Geto Boyz will make you feel like a million bucks.
Did I forget any? I’m sure I have. Let me know your favorites!
While “Up in the Air” was obviously not on this list, it is certainly the current crown-bearer of unemployment movies. But there are many others! As I said last year, grab some popcorn, hit Netflix and settle in for inspiring education in unemployment. The first of my favorites are listed below:
1. The Full Monty– Six unemployed British steel workers create their own “Chippendales” act in hopes of earning some serious cash. Chaos ensues, but when their pants finally come off, the women go wild and the dollar bills (er…pounds, Euro, whatever) are aplenty.
Moral of the story: Get creative and use your resources (but keep your pants on, please).
2. Mr. Mom– Michael Keaton’s Jack is let go from his job as an auto engineer. Wife Caroline (Teri Garr) returns to the job market, becoming the primary breadwinner and leaving Jack to run the household. Chaos ensues (crazy poker games for coupons, a night out with the girls at “Chippendales”, etc. etc.), Jack battles with the washer/dryer and a vacuum, but he learns to make a darn good grilled cheese with an iron and ends up finding happiness at home.
Moral of the story: Find your strengths in unexpected situations.
The Toy – A bratty kid purchases an underemployed reporter/janitor (Richard Pryor) at a department store in the hopes of using him as a “toy”. Desperate for cash, said reporter takes the job, chaos ensues and the man is perpetually humiliated through a series of antics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DCSATF1gBg
Tootsie– Unemployed New York actor (Dustin Hoffman) goes drag to land a role on a popular soap opera. Chaos ensues. Unexpectedly, the character becomes a huge success and Hoffman falls in love with his female co-star (Jessica Lange). In turn, everyone falls in love with Hoffman’s “Dorothy”, including a male co-star (George Gaines) and his love interest’s father (Charles Durning). Utterly confused and humiliated, everyone discovers the ruse and everything plays out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khCLA5RnxCI
Moral of the stories: Never knowingly humiliate yourself for a steady paycheck.
5. Erin Brockovich – Unemployed mom of three (played by Julia Roberts) meets lawyer Ed Masry when he represents her in a car accident suit. He loses the case, and because she’s out of cash, Roberts’ character guilts Masry into giving her a job as a legal assistant. Chaos ensues, and Masry fires her over and over again. Erin Brockovich remains persistent in her goal and, ultimately, ends up a hero, earning a boat-load of dough for herself, Masry and an entire town. Plus, she punishes a really bad chemical company.
Moral of the story: Be prepared to make sacrifices and be persistent.
Like much of America, I was getting pumped for our Olympians last night. The USA beat Canada in hockey, capping off a thrilling weekend that also included medals for Bode Miller, Shani Davis, Apolo Anton Ohno and Lindsey Vonn.
What do all these athletes have in common? Determination, drive and, of course, a dream. In fact, they sound a lot like job hunters.
Here are 10 things I’ve noticed among our Olympians as they mount their quests for success. I’m thinking these elements can surely take a job search from so-so to gold medal-winning!
What have YOU taken away from our Olympic idols?
I couldn’t bring myself to watch Tiger Woods’ self-aggrandizing “apology” today.
As everyone knows, the golf phenom took to the international airwaves an hour ago to publicly apologize for his “irresponsible and selfish” behavior. He went on to confirm his many affairs with many mistresses, say how much he disappointed everyone, how his wife should be praised, blah blah blah. Some people may buy it, but I don’t. And I’m pretty sure there are millions of others out there who see beyond this highly scripted, choreographed and tightly managed dog and pony show. Despite his coming forward today (two months after the sh*t initially hit the fan), people will still be talking about Tiger for quite some time to come. It’s not going to go away soon.
A lesson for all of us mere mortals in the work world – employed and otherwise: If you’ve done something wrong, own up to it. In a timely fashion. In a sincere manner. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to present itself. It never will. Two months after the fact is just ridiculous. Just take responsibility for your actions up front, and people will have much more respect for you in the long run. Trust me.
I went to Fashion Week’s Ecco Domani emerging designers show tonight in the Bryant Park tents and sat two rows behind the “celebrity” seats. There, among a couple of C-list CW actresses, sat socialite-cum-fashion entrepreneur Tinsley Mortimer.
The “Page Six” regular was decked in a hot pink cocktail dress and sported her trademark wavy blonde locks. She was accompanied by some frizzy-haired guy that looked a little like Russell Brand. Like many of her socialite sisters, Mortimer seems to have some handbag and clothing line that’s “huge in Japan”. Yeah, so is Jennifer Love Hewitt. But I digress.
The reason I’m writing about Tinsley is that she must have the best job in the world. I’m guessing she gets paid somehow for showing up at these shows and other events where she preens for the cameras and gets loads of publicity for the brands and labels she’s “endorsing”. She gets to dress up in gorgeous clothes and make the rounds at some of the most fabulous parties in the world. All this for being born into the right family and marrying money. Granted, she is apparently getting divorced from her husband, aptly named “Topper”, but she hasn’t lacked for male attention and has been linked to many eligible men about town.
I know the grass isn’t always greener, but on some level, it must be pretty nice to be Tinsley.
This morning while scanning my proud paper of record, The New York Post, I saw the news that Tiger Woods’ ho Rachel Uchitel has landed a new gig at “Extra”. Apparently, she was on the show with Mario Lopez the other night and impressed the producers so much that they’ve hired her on as a “special correspondent”.
From the Post: “A show source added, ‘She won’t talk about Tiger, but she talks about how she wants to find a husband and have kids. She only has a few real friends left whom she trusts. She is alone a lot and spends time with her two dogs. She seems very vulnerable.'”
Boo-hoo. My heart aches for her. Well, I guess it’s better to be paid by Warner Bros. than it is to be paid by Tiger.
What a great message Rachel is sending out to women. If your opportunities seem slim, just hook up with a married athlete, shame yourself in the national media and watch the prospects pile up.
Let me say this first: I’m mortified that I’ve gotten sucked back into that vortex of smut ABC calls “The Bachelor”. But it’s SO good! In fact, on Entertainment Weekly‘s Web site, a reader commented that watching “The Bachelor” is like “eating deep fried Twinkies”. Indeed, it is.
On last night’s installment, most of the drama revolved around Ali Fedotowsky, the advertising account manager from San Francisco (or as I like to call her, “Mean Girl”). Apparently, Ali’s company stepped in and gave her an ultimatum: Her job or the show. Or for Ali: Love or Money.
From Jake’s People.com Bachelor Blog: “My heart crumbled when she told me her boss demanded her back at work. I didn’t actually think she would leave me. We talked about it for three hours that night while the poor women at the rose ceremony just waited. She actually didn’t have to be back at work for four or five more days but we were leaving the country the next morning, so she had to make a decision. I felt like she wanted me to make the choice for her, but I couldn’t. How could I live with myself if I told her, ‘No! You are not leaving me now!'”
Smart girl, that Ali.
She gracefully decided to leave the show, making her exit in the standard black limo while Jake pouted on camera, demonstrating his obvious angst. Ali knew she’d rather have job security than her ass in the unemployment line. Can you imagine if she’d stayed and had Jake pick villainess Vienna Girardi in the end? The 25-year old Massachusetts-native would’ve gone nuts and probably knifed Vienna for stealing everything and leaving her a broken shell of a woman.
We all know well that a job is hard to come by. Men? They’re like trains. Just as one’s departing, another one arrives into the station.
What would you have done if you were Ali? Would you have chosen the potential for love over steady work and a paycheck?
When I got back inside from taking my dog to potty, I flipped on the “Today” show to see a tease for an interview with one of Tiger’s now infamous women, Jamie Jungers. According to America’s most popular morning show, this would be Jamie’s first live interview.
Now, I’m sure Jamie is trying to either 1) clear her name and set the record straight or 2) get an offer to pose for Playboy (although, I’m sure Larry Flynt will be first at bat on that one). That’s why most scandalized people hit the airwaves with their tawdry tales. Sadly, during the piece, Jamie told Meredith Viera “I got nothing out of this relationship but a broken heart.” Awww….
The fact that “Today” sank so low to conduct this interview is only mildly surprising (hello, ratings!). The fact that Meredith Viera was handed the reins and not, say, Kathie Lee or Hoda, also causes pause. My #1 problem with this interview, though, lies in the subject’s choice of attire.
Girlfriend, if you’re going on national television with a goal of setting the record straight and repairing your reputation, for God’s sake don’t do it while sporting bleached blonde hair, a fur jacket and six-inch black hooker boots!
Why is this relevant to you job hunters?
Because when you’re going on a job interview, your goal should be to put your best, most professional face forward. You have to appear credible. Axe the extraneous piercings, bring your hair back to a natural shade and leave the club clothes at home. I’m not saying you have to appear ultra-conservative – just appropriate and like you have a brain in your head.
I realize this woman could care less what I think, but I hope her mistakes will help others. Frankly, that’s about the only thing we can hope to get out of this interview.
Stamos is currently the star of Broadway’s “Bye, Bye Birdie”, and nimwits Allison Coss and Scott Sippola were arrested last week on an extortion charge. They were threatening to sell photos of him unless he paid them $680,000.
Here’s the kicker: the photos are apparently only of him and fans. WTF? I mean, if you’re going to extort John Stamos, get some pics of him in bed with the Olsen twins or at least sneaking into a cheap motel with ex-wife Rebecca Romijn. That’s weak work, Allison and Scott.